TTI’s General Words of Wisdom for the current markets:
1) SG - Not sure why everybody seems to be complaining about the current dip. The current redness seems to affect mostly property related as well as debt laden counters only... if u had bought into conservatively managed companies, the share price barely moved. Prob less than 5%.
Already ppl are talking about doom and gloom. That’s not the reality I see on the ground. My personal businesses are all reporting yoy gains in revenue, and last yr was a record high in the past 10yrs already. In my daily course of business, I have contact with many business owners, both public and private ones, and my general feel is that it’s business as usual. Most businesses are still seeing gains yoy n unemployment is still v low.
If the redness in your portfolio looks bad.... it’s just you. I get a pretty accurate feel of the ground and things really aren’t too bad (surprising even myself. In a post I wrote end of last yr, I thought my businesses will struggle to match the highs but thus far, everything’s still good)
2) Portfolio management.
There’s always some controversy between being fully vested vs actively managing your cash levels. Obviously, in times like this, having cash means u r the king. I see many ppl starting to talk about “raising cash levels” now.... in my mind, that’s like trying to find sources if water when you realize your house is on fire. It’s just too late. On top of that, tbh, most ppl here have low earnings power.
The time to raise cash levels is when nobody’s talking about it, and the time to deploy is when everyone’s talking about raising it.
It’s just too bad that most ppl will behave like... most ppl do.
Hence, the reason why I brought up the concept of a “proton canon” a few months ago.
Buffett has 1, why shouldn’t you?
My proton canon is massive by most ppl’s standard... blood on the streets is good.
Even if there’s no blood on the streets, it doesn’t mean a proton canon is useless. It just means you gotta dig ard a bit harder n be a bit more patient. There’s still opportunities to deploy, they’re just not as obvious as right now.
IMO, staying fully vested just Cos u wanna pick up some yield... is like getting married solely for the sex. Dumb as hell.
3) Personal Finances - I don’t really write about this Cos to me, this is just too basic. All the keeping aside a bit of your salary as savings etc is pure common sense... unless u r Americano.
Think of yourself as a company. TTI loves FCF positive companies, so similarly, every month I try to be FCF positive. At least I did last time.
Now, over the years, my CFs every month has grown such that they way way WAY exceeds expenditure so I don’t really bother anymore. Even without impacting on my family’s lifestyle, the monthly CFs that I get to deploy or keep as cash, is a very sizable 5 digits.
CFs is literally the lifeblood of the company, and it should be the lifeblood of an investor too. Even if I make some mistakes, having CFs mean I get more tokens to stay in the game. Remember the Survivor series? Outlast.
4) Upgrade, Improve productivity - THIS, I really don’t get why more ppl don’t do it. ESP the blue and white collar workers. U go to work, 9-5, most hate it or at best, don’t like but grind through it, day in and day out.
Per unit time and effort, you’re paid a miserly sum and most of it goes to remuneration for top management and/or shareholders.
It just sucks.
Most ppl will agree with me that it sucks, yet most ppl won’t do anything about it. Cos doing something involves more suffering for a few yrs, and getting out of your comfort zone.
It’s best to take yourself out and try to upgrade and move up the value chain. Work smarter, THEN harder. U need both, but smarter is more important.
If you’re a degree holder, look to move up. An MBA perhaps? Or other related fields of knowledge that allows you to do stuff that’s valued by society, and fewer ppl can do it. Of course, u must expect the calibre of competitors to increase the higher you try to move. Turn up to compete or go home.
If you’ve a diploma... it means you’re... "too well-rounded". It’s one big competition and at multiple times, you’ve perhaps not turned up to compete, whether u like to admit it or not. The Good news is that the competition never ends, and many who have “won” previously, end up camping, so you’ve a chance to catch up and overtake.
The bad news? There’s a reason why u fell behind to begin with...and these things don’t go away easily. It’s like a lousy company. They usually stay lousy.
OK. Driving off now so that’s it.
EDIT: Edited wordings to avoid hurting fragile egos.